I also have a job I love, albeit one that requires me to be on-call three out of every nine weeks. This week we thought that just meant a few winter weather conference calls. We were wrong.
I was at the dentist yesterday and saw on my blackberry (right before heading in for the cleaning) an e-mail saying “medium aircraft in Hudson.” Now, my first thought was that it was at most a prop commuter plane – to me, that’s a medium plane. That’s the kind of thing that can usually be managed on the scene, or with a small mobilization at the office. Anything that flies out of a commercial airport? That’s a large plane to me. So I sat down to get my teeth cleaned, knowing that they’d call me in if needed. Then, with the pick in my mouth and the hygienist talking to me, I overheard the women in front shouting in Spanish – agua! En agua! After the cleaning I called work, and they said finish with the dentist and then come back in.
Twenty minutes later I was walking into the office, and it was an image I hadn’t seen since probably the crazy storms of April 2007. Everyone was talking, on the phone, on the Nextel. We were trying to keep all of the information straight, putting it into report. By then the reports were coming in, but hard to process – I’m sorry, NO ONE was killed? NO ONE was critically injured? Wait, huh?
Some staff went to La Guardia, and most of us stayed at work to keep managing things from there (like trying to find a barge crane to life the plane out of the water, for example). It was interesting and a bit chaotic, but at the same time amazing to witness and be part of. I do really love my job, especially when the emergency turns out instead to be a story about how amazing people are.
I got home around 10:30 last night (not bad, considering we though we’d be there until 6 this morning) and called my mom. Funny coincidence – the incredible pilot who saved 155 lives yesterday? He is from my hometown. That’s right. Danville’s most awesome claim to fame is no longer Christie Turlington – It’s Captain Sully!